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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Making Changes

Today, I thought I would share some of the changes I've made in recent times.

About six months ago I switched to Harvestland chicken, because they don't use antibiotics.  Cage-free chicken is best, but for now, my budget affords me this step.  Antibiotic resistance is rampant and part of the problem is all the antibiotics fed to animals.

I was buying regular, artificially-flavored pancake syrup, but it contains high-fructose corn syrup.  I found this at the store a few weeks ago.  It tastes good and is made with sugar rather than corn syrup.  If your budget affords, pure maple syrup is even better.

Again, with the corn syrup--somewhere along the way, producers started putting it in ketchup.  I found that Hunt's brand produces one with sugar instead, so I switched over a year ago.

We occassionally buy hot dogs, but most contain nitrates and nitrites.  Even if you buy kosher hot dogs, they still have junk in them.  Opt for uncured instead.  Ideally, I buy grass-fed beef hot dogs from Azure Standard, but when I can't get those, I will buy these from the local grocery store.  The key word to look for is UNCURED.  I also buy Oscar Mayer uncured bacon, and Harvestland uncured deli ham, for the same reason.

Have you seen this?  I came across it a couple months ago and looked into it.  It turns out that this ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is a dough conditioner (to make bread soft) and helps your bread not mold.  BUT, it is also used to make yoga mats.  Ewww.  It's apparently banned in Europe.  There is debate online as to whether a little in our bread is harmful.  I say, let's look for alternatives.

Sandwich bread is an area in which I compromise.  Ideally, you want to be eating bread that is made from soaked or sprouted whole grain.  No, the fluffy soft sandwich bread at the grocery store, that is labeled 100% whole grain doesn't cut it.  Think Ezekiel Bread.  But right now my kids won't eat sandwiches made on Ezekiel Bread.  We're just not there yet.  Maybe one day.  But remember one of the pillars of this blog--no condemnation.  I came from a background where everything was made from scratch, even our bread.  My husband on the other hand came from a background of pizza rolls, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Kool-Aid.  He has made great strides in his diet.  This is currently where we are at, as a family, with our bread.  I rarely eat sandwiches or toast.  I just don't eat a lot of bread.

After seeing the above post about the chemical in bread, I reached for the loaf we had in the house.  Sure enough, it contained said chemical.  Ewww!  So, on my next grocery trip, I checked the labels of practically all the soft varieties of bread.  I found that Sara Lee does not use that chemical, and also does not include high-fructose corn syrup.  Yay!  So we switched, and my kids are happy.

For my coffee in the morning, I've been using Stevia packets.  I've been using this brand for about three years.  I like this brand because it doesn't have any other junk added.  You have to watch out for that with stevia.  It's becoming very popular, but companies put other things in with it that you don't want.  Look out for things that end in -ose.  That means sugar.  Dextrose is one, it's corn sugar.  This brand adds xylitol, which is a zero calorie sugar alcohol, and it's safe.

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